Government Accountability Board Estimates Recall Election To Cost $9 Million

The Government Accountability Board released figures estimating the cost of for a statewide recall election at $9 million on late Friday afternoon. More than 90 percent of the state’s municipalities submitted information to the GAB.

With the deadline to collect enough signatures approaching, local municipalities are gearing up for the possibility of a recall election.

For a primary and a recall election, if they are held at different times that’s going to double our ballot cost,” said Karen Peters, Dane county clerk.

The Dane County Clerk’s Office supplies ballots for the cities, towns and villages throughout the county.

If the recall happens, according to Peters, the fall ballot costs to the county for 2012 will be doubled.

With the possibility of a recall election lingering at the end of last year, they didn’t include the cost in this year’s budget, she said.

“We did a budget amendment for about $158,000 and that’s what I?m estimating the county’s portion for the ballot costs,? said Peters.?

Dane County had stockpiled certain supplies but about 70,000 ballots had to be tossed out, according to Peters.

“With all of the law changes that have happened with the voter ID Law basically everything we had, had to be thrown away,? she said.

The Fitchburg City Clerk Linda Cory said their additional costs would go toward staffing their four polling locations and having staff on hand to process absentee ballots.

Based on voter turnout of 75 percent, roughly 14,000 voters here in Fitchburg, I had estimated a total of about $28,800,? Cory said.

Fitchburg city clerk estimates the GAB will cover most of the administrative costs they’d face for having two additional elections this year.

“The only thing I would maybe see changing is if we anticipated we needed to have additional staffing or security. And that i have not accounted for at all,? Cory said.

Representative Robin Vos, the man who spearheaded the effort to get the GAB to collect and release cost estimates, tells WISC-TV if the numbers had been released earlier it may have swayed some independent voters? decision to not sign the recall.

We asked for these several months ago so that as people were given the choice whether or not to sign the recall petition they would know it certainly isn’t free. It definitely comes at a price for taxpayers,” Vos said.